Political agreement reached on EU blue card in new rules for migrant workers

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The Commission welcomes the agreement reached yesterday by the European Parliament and the Council on new rules for the entry and residence of highly skilled workers from outside the EU under the revised Blue Card Directive. The new scheme will introduce efficient rules for attracting highly skilled workers to the EU, including more flexible admission conditions, enhanced rights and the possibility to move and work more easily between EU Member States.

Agreement on the revised Blue Card is a key objective of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum. Changes under the new scheme include: 1) Flexible requirements: To qualify for an EU Blue Card, the salary threshold will be reduced to between 1 and 1.6 times the average gross annual salary, making it more accessible to more people. The minimum duration for a contract of employment will also be reduced to 6 months; 2) Family reunification: To attract and retain highly skilled workers from outside the EU, family members of EU Blue Card holders will be able to accompany them and access the EU labour market; 3) Intra-EU mobility: EU Blue Card holders, and their family members, will be able to move to a second Member State based on simplified mobility rules after 12 months of employment in the first Member State. Periods of time spent working in different Member States will also be taken into account, facilitating easier access to the EU long-term resident status.